Switzerland: Zug residents receive fake letters telling them to quarantine

Residents of the central Swiss canton of Zug have been sent forged letters, informing them that they must quarantine. Cantonal authorities have warned the population that such directions would not be carried out via mail.

Switzerland: Zug residents receive fake letters telling them to quarantine
Photo: Adrian DENNIS / AFP

Authorities in Zug have also warned the population about a fake quarantine scam in the canton.

People resident in Zug have received fake letters informing them that they need to quarantine.

‘First come, first served’: How to get the vaccine sooner in Switzerland

Officials told Swiss media that nobody in the canton will be contacted by letter, with email or phone contact preferred.

“In the last few months we have been able to reach everyone by phone or e-mail and have not sent a single letter,” a spokesperson wrote in a media release.

“Several Zug residents have reported to the health department in the last few days because they were informed by letter about an ordered quarantine.”

Zug residents are encouraged to contact authorities if they have received a quarantine letter.

Anyone who has received such a letter should contact the Corona information centre (041 728 39 09 / [email protected]).

GPs can now vaccinate in Zug

Since March 9th, 2021, family doctors/general practitioners (Hausärzte) in the canton of Zug will be able to administer coronavirus vaccines.

The change is part of a pilot program to encourage more vaccination points in the canton, reports Switzerland’s Lucerne Zeitung newspaper.

Eleven GP offices throughout the canton are now equipped to start vaccinations.

Authorities have reminded the population to register so that they can be contacted to make a vaccination appointment – and not to contact the GPs directly.

“The doctor’s offices actively offer patients for a vaccination, contact by people willing to be vaccinated is not necessary.” 

Also effective March 9th, Zug has expanded the scope of who can access the vaccine, with jabs now available to people between the ages of 65 and 74.

Zug Health Director Martin Pfister said in a statement the canton was doing its best to ensure widespread vaccinations despite a supply issue.

“We are happy to be able to extend the vaccination to the next population group despite the continued shortage of vaccine availability. It is another important step in the fight against pandemics.”

More than 18,000 people have been vaccinated in Zug, which equates to roughly 15 percent of the population.

Switzerland as a whole has now vaccinated 1.2 million people, or roughly 14 percent of the population.

You can register to have the vaccine in Zug here.

Registering for the vaccine in every other Swiss canton can be done at the following link.

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‘Peaceful coexistence’: How one Swiss canton helps foreign citizens integrate

Switzerland is a country with many immigrants, but not necessarily an easy place to integrate. One canton has an integration program that helps immigrants learn about the country and make local friends, as writer Ashley Franzen experienced.

'Peaceful coexistence': How one Swiss canton helps foreign citizens integrate

There are many things to prepare for when making an international move: packing, paperwork, scheduling the move, and more. It can be a lot for anyone to manage, but sometimes the hardest work comes once you’ve actually arrived and are getting settled. So how does one prepare for arriving and integrating into a country where everything is so different and new?

Canton Zug has put together an integration plan that helps families learn about their new surroundings, including an informational evening program where new arrivals can attend sessions and learn about Zug’s political, social, and cultural landscapes, all while socialising and meeting other new residents.

According to the Canton of Zug’s website, “Integration is an active and reciprocal process between the people who come from foreign countries to live here and the indigenous people.

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“The aim of integration is a peaceful coexistence on the basis of common values so that people who come here from foreign countries may have the equal opportunity to take part in Switzerland’s social, cultural and political life.”

Chocolate and new friends: my experience with ‘New in Zug’

I found out about the “New in Zug” program, which offers a series of sessions on different topics, towards the end of the scheduled agenda. Still, I was able to attend a session led by an Immigration Advisory Center (FMZ) consultant and a local police officer who had been working in Zug for nearly 25 years. There were about eight of us in attendance.

This particular course was actually a mixture of the German and English languages, as we all had a basic level of German, but we found out that English was the uniting language otherwise.

We learned about the security of the canton and city and learned about the history of safety in Switzerland, including a portion on traffic laws.

It was a valuable and informative couple of hours and there were light refreshments, including water and chocolates. In addition, I was able to connect with someone who was part of a local international women’s group and gained a bit more information about other ways to integrate.

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There are many international groups that are running in places like Zug, Lucerne, and Zurich, but this is a unique opportunity to connect with the local services and locals involved in promoting integration.

My family also participated in a hosting program. Local families volunteer to be paired with recently arrived families – such as mine – in order to help give a new perspective of your new city in ways that a local does, with tips and suggestions to make you feel more at home.

We were paired with a couple that had been in Zug for over ten years. They were similar in age to us and their two kids were within a year or two of our own. We had an initial video meeting to chat and get to know one another a bit before we decided to try and meet up.

View over Lake Zug with the old town of Zug and the Zytturm. By Schulerst – CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikicommons

We met down near Lake Zug and walked through a market/festival set-up along the promenade. It was wintertime and very cold, but the kids were delighted to be with kids their age who spoke some English. There were many activities in which they could partake, including a mini train ride, and they seemed to enjoy themselves.

Having a local family on-hand to call with questions about family services, including daycare or other programs, was an asset to our family. We received recommendations about various things to do as a family, including local destinations that were good for day trips and rainy days.

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Overall, my experience with the FMZ and their programs was extremely positive. Their office is close to public transportation and a short walk from the lake. While I’ve continued to explore Zug and the surrounding areas on my own, I know that the local government provides access to helpful and unique resources to help develop my relationship with the canton and the country.

As a foreigner living in Switzerland, I already feel a sense of pride with regard to the various cultural and traditional activities and perspectives, such as the quality of food, the work-life balance, and the deeply ingrained social trust. I fully intend to continue integrating with clubs and activities that promote a connection between local and foreign people and promote a closeness to the vast beauty that is now “in my backyard” in Switzerland.

The immigration program

The Immigration Advisory Center (FMZ), or in German, Fachstelle Migration Zug, is a rich resource for people looking to get connected in their new city. The FMZ offers “New in Zug” and various other introductory meeting sessions that introduce residents to things such as local laws, individual rights, and customs of residing in the area.

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They can also help you start German classes and provide answers about life in Zug in 16 different languages. The Center not only offers courses in German and language tests, but they also have classes about Swiss culture and traditions, plus smart ways to meet new people.

The New in Zug Together program is a series of sessions where you can learn about Zug. An FMZ consultant guides the meet-ups and the theme will vary for each session. Possible topics include authorities, work, insurance, health, cultural differences, and more.

There are sessions in both English and German, so as you improve your German, you can branch out and meet people in a German-speaking environment.